Christina's Top Ten Cake Tips

Feb. 25, 2019, noon

Someday I’m writing a book or blog – so consider this copyrighted material.

1. Always use the best ingredients. [cold AA large eggs, Mazola corn oil, (for icing) Pure Cane Sugar (regular or powdered) and Crisco.]
2. Always use purified water (I don’t like chlorine in my cakes!!!!)
3. Use pan grease* with a dedicated basting brush to grease the sides of the pans. Always use pan liners.
4. Wrap the outside of your pans with Wilton Bake Even strips – or a homemade product. This will prevent over baking on the sides of the cakes.
5. When you flip the cake out of the pan onto a cooling rack, immediately flip again onto a second cooling rack. This way the cake is cooling right side up. This will prevent the cake from cracking. Elevate one end of the cooling rack about 2” on larger cakes to promote cooling.
6. When cooled, put the cake on a saran covered board. Then completely cover with saran and let sit at room temperature overnight before frosting.
7. If you are going to cut the cake into a shape, freeze first. A frozen cake is much easier to cut and move – and produces less crumbs.
8. Invest in your equipment. See below.
9. Always wrap the cardboard the cake will sit on with foil or something else that will not absorb moisture. Not doing so will simply drain moisture from your cake.
10. Refrigerate the cake overnight before transporting, if at all possible. This is especially important for double layer cakes – the layers can slide or shift in a car. If the cakes are cold this is much less likely. The cakes need to be set flat also, not slanted on a back seat. If using the back seat, something has to be underneath them to level the cake. Best flavor is at room temperature – so allow for “warm up” after delivery.

I consider these MUST haves:
a) a big cake cutting “knife”. I think Wilton has one – mine is a different brand not produced anymore. The feet stay on the table and you drag it into the cake to cut off the top. Mine is big enough to cut a 16”round tier.
b) a 16” featherweight bag and tip 789 for the icing of the layers.
c) a cut 2 liter bottle to use with the featherweight bag – makes filling the bag a cinch.
d) a basting brush (mentioned above). This can be stored wrapped in saran if used frequently.
e) for transporting – get one of the “stay set” carpet sheets designed for rugs on tile. Lay this in your trunk, and items will not slip around.
f) a KitchenAid mixer
g) a saran cutter (if you know anyone who orders food service items ask if they can get you one.) plus, 18” saran (from Sams Club).
h) pampered chef spatulas. THESE are the BEST on the market.

*recipe for pan grease: stir together 1 cup Crisco and ½ cup flour in a plastic container that has an airtight lid. Pan grease will store at room temperature. Using this will prevent the bothersome grease and flour two-step.